kristel, activism

Teditorial: Niña Aquino
Radikalchick: Activism


  1. GabbyD

    angela: so kristel=ninoy? why not kristel=rizal? or jesus?

    seriously, where do we stop here?

    (PS: given locsin’s penchant for the dramatic, i thought he’d compare her to ghandi)

    • baycas


      I don’t know if it’s clear, but you don’t need to be an activist to care. And no, you don’t have more compassion just because you are insisting that a suicide is “more complex.” Poverty and hunger and need are not complex things. These are products of a systemic dysfunction that keeps the poor where they are, if not growing poorer by the day, no matter the higher economic numbers that the government likes to celebrate. Yes, the state of UP education was but the trigger. But that is to say it practically shot that gun.

      Suicides might be complex for the rich and famous, who have the world at their feet, but apparently find reason to end their lives. But for the poor? They have nothing at their feet, in their pockets, in their stomachs. The need is clear, and only the apathetic or in denial—only those who think like this government do—would imagine that this need is irrelevant.

      To assert that this stand makes weaklings out of the poor is the work of a mind that to begin with looks down on people who commit suicide. I haven’t heard that from activists, and neither from the more intelligent minds among us. I have only heard it from those judging activists, judging the poor, judging the Tejadas’ parenting, judging the suicide to be a sin. Yes, even the discourse on suicide has been wanting.

      After all, we don’t have a Tagalog equivalent for the word depression. And certainly no word for therapist either, or psychiatrist.

      But we do have many words for poor: mahirap, dukha, pobre. And no, activism doesn’t teach you these words. Living in this country should.

  2. baycas

    This has to be repeated here…

    Experts say that among the “protective beliefs” that lower the suicide risk among college students are spirituality, family support, peer support and positive expectancy.

    The common components of national suicide prevention strategies are public awareness, media education, access to services, building community capacity, means restriction, training, and research and evaluation.
    For suicide prevention advocates, the World Health Organization has a publication “Towards Evidence-Based Suicide Prevention Programmes” that provides basic strategies. But it stresses that there is no single solution in dealing with suicide in a heterogeneous environment—that is, one size does not fit all—and that there is need for novel approaches.

    For support groups, family members and school personnel, there is the “Suicide First Aid Guidelines for the Philippines” by the Foundation for Advancing Wellness, Instruction and Talents Inc.

    Some numbers to call in case of suicide threats: 0917-5724673, 0917-5584673, 0917-8524673, 0917-8425673, 2114550, 2111305 and 8937606.

    • baycas

      According to Dr. Lynn Panganiban, former director of the National Poison and Management Control Center (NPMCC), they observed that poison-related suicide cases tend to increase during Valentine’s Day and Christmas.

      “Most of the time it’s relational, there is a problem in the family or their loved ones. We rarely see cases related to job loss,” she noted in the initial “Health Update Manila” forum last Friday, organized by UPM’s Information, Publication and Public Affairs Office (IPPAO).

      Panganiban added that they also see a spike in suicide attempts during the enrolment period, apparently over lack of money to pay for tuition.

      She said they also observed that those who commit suicide are also getting younger. “We were seeing suicidal incidents among teenagers… (as early as) 12 years of age and the cause is not accidental,” Panganiban said.

      IPPAO director Dr. Michael Tee said that around 3,332 poisoning cases “or around 10 cases a day” were referred to the center in 2010.

      “But not all of these are suicide-related. There were also cases of accidental poisoning. Majority of the attempts to commit suicide during these seasons (Valentine’s and Christmas) are depression-related,” Tee added.

      Panganiban claimed that of the 3,332 poisoning cases last year, 20 percent were caused by “silver jewelry cleaner,” which contains cyanide. She warned that some of the victims are children who accidentally swallowed the poisonous chemical.

      Based on the NPMCC’s documentation, the Department of Health and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources have banned in November 2010 the use of solutions with cyanide and other toxic substances in cleaning silver jewelry. The two agencies have warned the public against buying such “unregistered or unlabeled silver jewelry cleaning solutions” that are proliferating in the market.

  3. GabbyD

    serious question: isnt it dangerous to equate suicide to what ninoy did?

    did ninoy commit suicide?

    i think ninoy can be considered a “martyr”, but did he commit suicide?

    a parallel question: if committing suicide is “heroic”, should we consider suicide as a valid, rational thing to do?

    angela, you wrote a book on EDSA, so your opinion is relevant — did ninoy commit suicide? if so, should suicide be celebrated/commemorated?

    • Ninoy did not commit suicide because he did kill not himself by his own hands. His enemies did it for him. But his act was heroic since he faced the consequences without fear of the imminent death at the altar of military-business clique conspiracy. Just like Kristel’s self-sacrifice of losing her dreams and facing death which i am glad Tebbyboy shared my line of thinking, was the justification for us to make a public statement against UP tuition fee policy and the dys-functionality of our educational system affecting the qualified but marginalized lower strata of our society as analyzed by Katrina. Kristel indeed was the poster girl for an ill-conceived financial aid to qualified student program.

  4. manuel buencamino

    “The question really for everybody else so critical of activism is this: why are you not with us in this cause?”

    Maybe because it’s not clear what the activists’ cause is?

  5. GabbyD

    Here’s another thing i dont get, maybe katrina can help us out:

    1) with ms tejada, she celebrated it as an act of activism

    2) but with the french man (whose name i forget now), negotiation is touted as the proper way to effect social change.

    why the differential treatment?